Conservative Leader Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper’s government met the challenge of the global economic crisis head on with our world-leading Economic Action Plan. Support for foreign credentials recognition has been a key part of our economic agenda. In 2009, we invested $50 million over two years for the development and implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. This funding has helped to streamline the recognition process in a number of important occupations and made it easier for foreign-trained Canadians to use their skills and expertise in Canada.
But some foreign-trained workers still have difficulty paying for tuition and other training costs associated with the foreign credential recognition process. A re-elected Stephen Harper government will provide bridge loans to help recent immigrants pay for the training and skills upgrading needed for their foreign credentials to be recognized here in Canada. The Conservative Party understands the importance of credential recognition to the financial security and well-being of new Canadians and their families, as well as the Canadian economy.
The Green Party
The Green Party finds fault with the current accreditation system, especially with the lack of recognition of foreign credentials. We would eliminate the valuation of foreign credentials for immigration purposes except in those cases where such credentials are recognized in Canada, or a clear, expeditious path to accreditation is established, and in place establish realistic criteria for immigrants based on existing job opportunities for immigrants to Canada. We would also press professional societies to remove unnecessary barriers hindering the recognition of valid professional credentials of immigrants.
The evaluation and the recognition of credentials is Quebec’s and the other provinces’ responsibility. The Quebec government has been working on ways to facilitate the movement of workers. We support these efforts.
Quebec is, to a certain extent, autonomous in terms of immigration. Unfortunately, the actual agreement with the federal government doesn’t allow us to put forward all the values that characterize Quebec. The only way Quebec will be able to deploy a more efficient and humane policy is by getting hold of the means sovereign countries can count on, like embassies and consulates.
The Liberal Party
The federal government must do a better job screening and advising prospective immigrants on credential recognition before they leave their countries of origin. Improving credential recognition and the integration of new Canadians into the workforce requires a renewed effort between governments, professional groups, educational institutions, sector councils and unions. We will provide leadership and make this a priority.
A New Democrat government would take a leadership role to move toward a fair, efficient, transparent and accountable immigration system.
Specifically, in conjunction with provinces and licensing authorities, we will accelerate and streamline the recognition of foreign credentials, overseas degrees and previous employment experience. To assist with literacy, community integration and English and French as a second language programs, we will reinstate federal funding for the settlement programs for new Canadians.